May 18, 2004

Walkable Communities: More Than Just Sidewalks

That's actually the title of a U.S. Dept of Transportation brochure that talks about characteristics of pedestrian-friendly communities: things like separation from traffic, links to a variety of different land uses, pedestrian facilities, and automobiles being "not the only [design] consideration."

It's not enough to have sidewalks. They have to be appealing, and make people want to use them. Leading somewhere useful and interesting is helpful, too.

What makes an appealing streetscape for pedestrians? A brochure from the National Center for Bicycling & Walking has some basic, useful tips.

Pedestrians like storefronts, porches, walls with windows, landscaped yards. Pedestrians DON'T like garage doors, blank walls, open parking lots, unbuffered parking structures, too many driveways, open service areas.

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